Leveraging Technology to Create a System
ConXtech employs Building Information Modeling (BIM) and state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment to achieve the dimensional tolerances needed for its ConX System to safely, quickly and easily assemble in the field.
Similar to the automotive industry, CNC milling, robotics, go-no-go fixturing and lean technologies and processes have been put in place in ConXtech’s manufacturing facility to ensure precision, quality and cost efficiency.
Although ConX collar components are machined to within a few thousandths of an inch, commodity steel beams and columns, to which they are attached, often lack dimensional accuracy when they arrive from the mill. For example, an 8″x8″ HSS column may not be precisely 8″x8″ square. To counter these dimensional challenges, ConXtech has invented manufacturing jigs and fixturing and developed repeatable, scalable processes that overcome dimensional intolerances resulting in precise structural components. ConXtech uses technology and processes in the factory to ensure that beam and column assemblies fit together seamlessly in the field.
ConXtech’s facility utilizes computer numerically controlled (CNC) machine centers from Mazak. These machine centers can run on a “lights out” (unattended) basis to precisely and efficiently produce ConX connector components.
Cut and Drill Line
Italy based Ficep, the principal supplier of structural steel and plate fabrication equipment in the world, supplied the automated line that precisely cuts wide flange beams to specified lengths with predrilled holes for mechanical, electrical, and plumbing. The Ficep equipment also stamps each beam as it passes through the cell, giving it a pre-determined physical “3D address” within the future structure.
Robotic Beam Welding
ConXtech has worked closely with US based Lincoln Electric and FANUC to design, configure, and program the robots that rapidly and perfectly weld ConXR collar components to beam ends. According to experts in the welding industry, ConXtech is the first, and currently only, firm in the world utilizing robots to successfully complete multi-pass full penetration welds on structural steel for buildings. The state-of-the-art robotic technology features Power Wave 455M power sources from Lincoln Electric mated with FANUC 120iLB six-axis robots for welding beam and collar pieces together. The ConXL robotic cell utilizes Motoman robotics. These robotic systems offer fast travel speeds, high deposition rates, and superior quality finished welds.
Manual Beam Welding
Although ConXtech elects to weld beam assemblies robotically, the company has also developed a manual weld cell that enables the same precision at just a slightly lower production rate. Depending upon demand, capacity, availability of labor and other factors, ConX Certified Fabricators can elect to employ either robotic or manual weld cells in their facilities. Either method results in high quality, precise finished assemblies.
Column Welding Lines
ConXtech is the first manufacturing facility in the world to weld, in a production environment, Hollow Structural Steel (HSS) columns entirely in the horizontal position. ConXtech also has developed and operates a robotic box column line which automates production of “boxes” with unprecedented speed and precision.
Factory Fabricated Stairs
ConXtech uses automation to design and fabricate an easy to install prefabricated stair and railings system in the factory. The precise and systematized approach means that in the field, permanent exit stairs can be installed at a rate of approximately 1 flight per hour.
Other Factory Fabricated Components
A dimensionally accurate structural ConX Chassis enables other factory manufactured building components, such as modular kitchens and bathrooms, to be efficiently designed, built and integrated by third parties. ConXtech’s goal is to continually improve our products and quality through process innovation and by employing and adapting new technologies as they become available.